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How to get deadbeat customers to pay?

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  • #16
    Steve:

    Here's the letter format that I used. I removed the personal information and others who use it can just fill in the blanks appropriately.

    Dear deadbeat:

    You had hired ABC Company on (insert date) to perform garden maintenance at 3 week intervals, starting this day. At the same time, you hired us for lawn maintenance at an agreed price of $$, starting this day. Since then, I've performed garden maintenance per our contract on this day and lawn maintenance was performed on the following dates. Payment terms per our contract are due upon completion. Payments for the services listed above are now due immediately. Despite several phone calls to you to collect payment, you have stated on 3 seperate occasions that your payment is in the mail. Since I have not received payment to date, your services were terminated by ABC Company on said date, due to theft of services.

    As per our contract, I am requesting to be paid $$$ for our services.

    If I do not hear from you within 5 days from the receipt of this letter, then I will file a petition with small claims court in Oakland County.

    I look forward to working with you toward a resolution of this matter.

    Very truly,

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    • #17
      Thank you so much Amy!

      Throughout this experience, what would you say was the biggest lesson you learned about running a lawn care business? Have you learned something new about sensing when a customer is going to be a problem. Are you using contracts now? What advice can you offer the new lawn care business owner who has yet to run into such a problem?
      - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
      Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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      • #18
        Go by there every day and knock on her door. Eventually she will get tired of you coming by and pay you . I learned this when I was a collection manager. You may feel like a jerk at first, but then, who's the one that wont pay? Her. It really does work.
        who has time for that?

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        • #19
          who has time for that?
          What method would you prefer using to collect over due money?
          - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
          Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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          • #20
            Small claims court seems to work well. Many offer to pay before the court date because they know they will have to pay in court.

            I can even mail in the compalint with a check to file it to save time.

            In NJ we only have 90 days to put a lien on someones house, so the small claims court does the trick.

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            • #21
              In NJ we only have 90 days to put a lien on someones house, so the small claims court does the trick.
              Have you used both methods? What are the pros and cons of them?
              - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
              Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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              • #22
                getting people to pay

                The small claims court works well. After you know the fees you have to pay you can do it all by mail and saves time. Most times they will contact you to settle paying before court.

                The lien on the property stays on there and they cannot sell the house, re-finance or get home equity loan without paying your lien off. So sooner or later you are going to get paid. I just dont like that you have to do this within 90 days here. 6 months would be better.

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